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Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Wednesday, 2 June 2010 13:54 UK

World Cup 2010: Nigeria fly into SA after delay

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Members of the Nigeria squad watch their friendly with Colombia
Nigeria's players had their departure for South Africa delayed

Nigeria have arrived in South Africa for the World Cup after a delayed departure from their training camp in the UK.

Their charter aircraft was grounded at Stansted Airport in the south of England by technical problems.

The squad had to stay an extra 24 hours whilst the Nigerian government arranged a replacement flight.

The Super Eagles have now arrived in South Africa, to prepare for the tournament.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) issued an apology for the delay.

"We apologize to the federal government and the good people of Nigeria for this charter company's failure," Bolaji Ojo-Oba of the NFF said.

"[We also apologise to] the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa and the staff who went through considerable discomfort waiting for the team to arrive on Tuesday.

"We didn't want the team to fly regular airline with its complications and unpredictability.

"The players fly business class, it would have been difficult for us to secure in excess of 40 business class seats on one aircraft.

"Whatever we did was in the interest of the team, their safety, security and comfort.

"What has happened is unfortunate, but we are full of gratitude to the federal government for its keen interest in this matter."

Nigeria will take on North Korea on Sunday in their last warm-up before opening their World Cup campaign against Argentina on 12 June.

They also face South Korea and Greece in Group B of the World Cup.

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see also
Super Eagles grounded in London
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nigeria face more venue problems
26 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Uche misses out for Super Eagles
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Nigeria
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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